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April 09, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-09

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Page 4 -The Michigan-Daily-- Thursday, April 9, 1992

Editor in Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0550

MATTHEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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'U' reneges, Warren resigns

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01

At Tuesday night's meeting of the Michigan
Student Assembly, Michael Warren resigned
his position as chair of the Student Rights Com-
mission (SRC). Warren's farewell address cited
the University's lack of a commitment to free-
speech as the primary reason for his resignation.
After months of hard work and meetings with
student groups and administrators, Warren felt that
the University would accept his proposed code on
violent intimidation, which was meant to replace
the current interim code. However, Vice President
of University Relations Walt Harrison informed
Warren this week that the administration would
need more minority student input before making a
decision on the code.
After years of campus-wide debate over a code
of non-academic conduct, once again the process
has hit a brick wall. However, the fault does not lie
with one group or one person.
Warren fell short in his surveying of students.
MSA should be a representative body of the stu-
dents, but it is not, nor does it adequately represent
minority student opinion. Consequently, it is not
enough for Warren to say that he spoke to certain
people about the code, heard how they felt, and
because he is a member of a "representative"
organization, his analysis is truly representative.
Warren claims that 75 percent of the students who
voted in MSA elections voted in favor of his code.
But only 9 percent of the student body voted in the
election, only about half the students voted in the
referendum, and election ballots are notorious for
inflating support for MSAinitiatives. Consequently,
MSA elections are hardly a litmus test of student
opinion. The fact is that Warren should have better
solicited minority-student input when drafting a,
new code.
However, responsibility for the stand still con-
cerning the code does not lie with Warren alone.
The administration could have informed Warren
months ago that it wanted him to get more input

from minority groups. It was completely aware of
the steps Warren was taking and could have made
suggestions at any time. The reality is that there are
divisions within the administration regarding this
issue. Maureen Hartford, vice-president of student
affairs, had been assuring Warren of her support for
the last month. Harrison and SACUA, the faculty
senate, both gave Warren nods of approval. It
appears that after months of support, the adminis-
tration flip-flopped because it feared the embar-
rassment of approving a code without a visible
effort to seek minority input.
Then there is President Duderstadt, who desig-
nated Hartford as Warren's contact in the adminis-
tration. He seems to favor a broad, unrestricted
code that can be used to punish students for their
conduct outside of the classroom. It is clear that the
administration can't come to a consensus on the
issue. But it is students who may suffer because of
its reversal.
The issue of a code of non-academic conduct is
a serious one. The administration's past record
does not support its claim that it wants more
student input. The interim code was passed with no
student input at all. However, getting more minor-
ity-student input is a positive and necessary step
when formulating University policy.
If the administration is serious about its claim,
it should act quickly to seek this input and institute
a narrow code, much like the one the SRC recom-
mended. It is ironic that the Conservative Coalition
(CC) platform stresses the fact that it knows how to
deal with the administration and make compro-
mises. Now out of frustration, Warren, one of CC's
leaders, urges people not to talk to this administra-
tion at all.
Meanwhile, the interim code is still on the
books and the administration still has a tool that it
could use to improperly regulate the lives of stu-
dents. In the end no one has really won and the
students are still at a loss.

Homeless are humans
To the Daily:
This is in response to the
article "Rising homeless popula-
tion brings crime to the city
shelter," (4/19/92).
First of all there was no
positive aspect mentioned
concerning the homeless situa-
tion, nor were there any solutions
mentioned. Myself, being
homeless, feel safer at the shelter
than on the streets.
The choice of words used
(volatile, vulnerable, unstable and
idiots) put people at the shelter in
an undesirable social category.
We are people with problems
looking for solutions and looking
to regain control of our lives.
There are a lot of us who want
a change for the better and we do
care not only about ourselves but
our surroundings and others as
well. We will not stand anymore
to be separated from the rest of
society. We are humans and we
have the right to belong. Stop
kicking the social ladder and give
us a hand.
Rhonda Sweed
Homeless person
Stump causes thought
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
recent criticism of Greg Stump's
work. It's been a long time since
we've had a cartoonist of such
high caliber at the Daily. Stump's
work is powerful, insightful and
professional.
Although I empathize with the
Japanese Americans who were
upset by one cartoon, I really
don't think Stump's aim was to
offend anyone. The response he's
receiving shows that he's making
people think instead of skipping
to the classifieds.
Natalie Chernomordik
LSA senior

Diag forum for free speech

To the Daily:
The Daily published a letter
on from Moddassir M. Ali (2/13/
92).
In his letter, Mr. Ali suggests
that the University has every right
to deny use of the Diag to
NORML, because the Diag is a
sort of "physical newspaper."
Using this logic, Mr. Ali claims
that, just as the Daily could have
chosen not to print the Holocaust
revisionist ad, the University may
simply "edit" the contents of the
Diag. Ali needs to brush up on
his First Amendment law.
The Daily is a private news
organization which has full
editorial control over the material
it prints. If the Daily had chosen
not to print the controversial ad, it
would not have been a violation

of the rights of the author, but
rather an assertion of the rights of
the newspaper.
The Diag is public property,
and the site of constant political
and social commentary. Speech in
a public forum, especially political
and social debate, is the most
protected speech which exists. For
the administration of this Univer-
sity to regulate use of the Diag,
solely on the basis of content,
would indeed be a serious breach
of First Amendment rights.
If Ali is truly concerned about
the image that the University is
projecting, perhaps he should
study up before writing his next
letter.
Steven Wood
Engineering junior

0

I

To Russia, with love

A s the sun set on the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics at the end of last year, one thing
became clear: there would be vast opportunities
for cultural exchange between the United States
and the former Soveit Union that the Cold War had
made impossible. One of those opportunities is
manifesting itself in the form of an American
university in Moscow.
Indiana University has taken a leading role in
developing the plans for this new university, and
has invited other Big Ten schools to join in the
endeavor. The University's decision to get in-
volved is a good one, as it gives Michigan students
the opportunity to learn about Russian culture.
The purpose of the American university would
be twofold. The primary goal of the school would
be to give Russian students an opportunity to get a
broad-based liberal arts education. Higher educa-
tion in the Soviet Union was often akin to voca-
tional training, and this school would serve to
broaden Russian students' horizons.
Secondly, the university would provide ex-
traordinary research opportunities for American
How about a city
During the campaign for Ann Arbor City Coun
cil seats, a few candidates competing for the
student vote agreed that the relationship between
students and the City was declining. Steps need to
be taken, they all agreed. Ironically, on the night of
City Council elections, Ann Arbor City police
officers tear gassed students on South University
for the second time this academic year. The City
Council should not have allowed this mistake to
occur a second time, and should now take steps to
ensure its residents aren't treated so shamefully
again. One way to do so is to establish a city police
oversight board.
Currently, an oversight board is being formed to
follow the activities of the newly deputized Uni-
versity police. Even critics of deputization ac-
knowledge that this board could be a saving grace
for students' rights. Ann Arbor should follow the
same route to ensure student safety.
A City investigation of the macing incident at
South Quad concluded that the Ann Arbor police
acted properly in using chemical weapons against
University students. Even the detached city ad-
ministrators should see a pattern developing. The
mass demonstrations that occurred last year were

*

scholars and students involved in Slavic studies
longing to experience the Russian culture first-
hand.
The school would be staffed by visiting profes-
sors from participating American schools, includ-
ing the University of Michigan, alongside experts'
from all areas of the Commonwealth of Indepen-
dent States. Russian students would benefit from
the Americans' expertise, and American students
would benefit from the Russians' expertise.
The proposed university funding of the pro-
gram is still a source of doubt, but a large part of it
would come from corporate donations, not from
student tuition dollars.
However, as the bulk of the money is coming
from corporations, the organizers should make
sure that the University doesn't become simply a
training ground for the future of Russian corporate
capitalism.
The University is getting in on the ground floor
of a very promising venture. For once, the reward
is not in dollars, but in the increased understanding
and education of Americans and Russians alike.
oversight board?
against the administration's deputization of a cam-
pus police force. Curiously though, the fact that the
city's force has caused so many more problems
during the past few months hasn't caught anyone's
attention. Today, there exists little reason for stu-
dents to trust either police force with their lives and
property.
A Michigan Student Assembly resolution, in-
troduced by Student Rights Commission Vice Chair
Robert Van Houweling after Michael Warren's
resignation, calls for a new city investigation ofthe
latest incident. While such an investigation is nec-
essary, MSA should also encourage the City to
begin building machinery to protect students from
overzealous law enforcement.
An oversightboard could address student safety
concerns, and could be used to keep tabs on Ann
Arbor police activities. It could craft new crowd-
control policies that accounts for student safety,
and it could censure officers who act out of line.
The council's dismissal of the harsh treatment
of students at the hands of the police as proper
conduct is unacceptable. Instead, it should be work-
ing to ensure there are no more "South Universi-
ties" in the future.

Daily 'not up to snuff'
To the Daily:
As usual, your reporting was
not up to snuff.
Did your reporter go to the
same Spike Lee lecture I did?
You made it sound like a job
fair, with some anecdotes thrown
in.
You completely ignored the
issues raised about racismon
campus, Lee's alleged anti-
Semitism, and many other things
that the crowd and Lee had to say
about important concerns that we
students have.
You also ignored the unity of
campus groups that went into
bringing Lee to speak here. It is
unprecedented and deserves
recognition.
It is a pity that you have
wasted this (and many other)
opportunities to inform the
student body.
Brian Kalt
LSA sophomore

More student tickets
To the Daily:
I'm writing this letter because I
think that Michigan students who
are basketball season ticket
holders deserve an explanation
from the Athletic Department. The
University was given 3,100 Final
Four tickets, but they decided to
allocate only 400 of those to
student season ticket holders. We
get there more than two hours
early for the home games. Do you
see anyone else doing that?
You know, I was at Crisler to
welcome the team home from its
victory over Ohio State. Chris
Webber asked the fans if he was
going to see them in Minneapolis.
Well Chris, I tried, but it seems
that someone in the Athletic
Department thinks that you don't
really need the student support
after all.
So much for the sixth man.

Rick Draper
Engineering junior

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0

.

Maurer, ACT-UP within t

In February, Pattrice Maurer
went to Pioneer High School to
hand out condoms and printed ma-
terial about AIDS transmission to
students just after Valentine's Day.
Without disrupting classes, she of-
fered the materials to those who
were interested. Nevertheless,
school authorities contacted the
police, and
Maurer was ar- ~
restedfor tres
passing.
Later this
month, a jury
will hear
Maurer's case. .
They will de- ~
cide whethers
she willfully ' ;t Y 4;:YJ
broke the law, Elizabeth Cole
or if perhaps,
like a person
who rushes across the street to save
someone whose life is in danger,
her actions were justified by the
urgency of the situation. Let us con-
sider the evidence.
Exhibit A: The state sex educa-
tion curriculum stresses abstinence
before marriage, but the rise in HIV
infection and venereal disease
among teens shows that this strat-

teens than any other age group.
Twenty one percent of people with
AIDS are between the ages, of 20
and 29. Because the average time
between contraction and diagnosis
is eight years, most of these current
AIDS patients contracted the virus
in their teens.
Exhibit C: It is not immediately
apparent, but these statistics weigh
most heavily on young women and
all people ofcolor. Black and Latino
teens are disproportionately poor,
and consequently lack access to
condoms, and to alternative sources
of health care and education out-
side of the schools. Even if the
intent of the school board's policy
on AIDS education is not racist, the
effects certainly are.
Young women are also dispro-
portionately affected because the
majority of HIV transmission
among teens occurs through het-
erosexual intercourse.
Young women are more vul-
nerable to this route of transmis-
sion than their male peers because
male to female transmission is more
common, and because women are
more likely to have older sexual
partners, who are accordingly more
exnerienced. and thus more likely

heir rights
ties condone teen sex. In this educa-
tional model, pregnancy is the even-
tual punishment for those who dis-
obey, and it is meted outmostharshly
to young women, who physically
bear this burden, and to poor teens
who have less access to birth control
and abortion.
But today the stakes are much
higher. AIDS makes death the pos-
sible price of ignorance. And as in
the times when pregnancy was. the
worst outcome of teen sex, young
women and poor teens dispropor-
tionately suffer these new conse-
quences.
The Ann Arbor school board has
mandated a moral code of sexual
abstinence and AIDS enforces a
possible penalty of death for those
who refuse to comply.
I submit that Maurer was ar-
rested not for physically trespassing
on the property of the school, but for
transgressing against the sovereignty
of the school board to dictate the
sexual behavior of it's students.
Maurer's actions were intended to
stop a criminal act as it took place:
school policy which is potentially
tantamount to the manslaughter of
sexually active teens.
Maurer's arres nst eituteenn-

0

' Nuts and Bolts

CtdANNSS.
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[ ro eo COOL. NO(A)IT'S JUST
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by Judd Winick
now S A LM rI y
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"1 11

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